Elementary School Counseling Emphasis

Information about the elementary school counseling masters emphasis.


The elementary school counseling emphasis in the Counselor Education (M.Ed.) Master's Program at Penn State is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The curriculum is also consistent with standards and guidelines of the American School Counselors Association and the American Counseling Association. For additional information about this emphasis, please contact the Coordinator, Dr. Richard Hazler (phone 814-863-2415; Email: rjh29@psu.edu).

The purpose of this emphasis is to:

  • prepare professional counselors who are equipped by personality, knowledge, and skill to function effectively as counselors in the elementary and middle schools of Pennsylvania and other states2ndyear1.jpg

  • prepare students for the diverse roles of counselor, consultant, and educator in a multicultural society

  • provide academic work and extensive hands-on experience in the schools

  • prepare students to provide the wide variety of professional counseling services to children and adults necessary in a challenging educational system and complex society

A well rounded program is attained by emphasis on:

  • individual, group, and family counseling, along with guidance and psychoeducation skills

  • preparing counselor-trainees to meet the academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and career development needs of children and youth

  • skills in conflict resolution advocacy, group guidance, appraisal, academic remediation, case management, and the coordination and administration of a comprehensive developmental school guidance program

  • a blending of appropriate didactic experiences with three full semesters of supervised field work in a school setting to promote the translation of theory into effective counselor performance, resulting in skilled and competent school counselors

  • developing skills to effect curriculum changes, behavioral change strategies for families, and contingency management in the classroom in order to enhance the potential of all children and youth

  • preparing students for the school counselor roles of consultant and collaborator

  • multicultural counseling, educational equity, and closing success gaps among groups of students

    Elementary School Counseling Emphasis Field Experience

    One of the major advantages of the Penn State Elementary School Counseling emphasis is the extensive year-and-a-half supervised field experience.  The first fall semester students do videotaped role-play counseling sessions. Beginning in the spring semester of the first year they enter Practicum (one day per week) in an elementary, or if desired, middle school under the supervision of an experienced professional school counselor. Fall and spring of the second year students spend two to three days per week in their school.

    This extensive field experience provides for application of all aspects of the school counseling experience including individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, and consultation with teachers and parents. Students graduate with the full experience of the school counselor’s year from orientation in the fall to the unique aspects as school nears ending in the spring.